Imagine you just bought a home, but you don’t like the kitchen because it’s outdated. Since this is potentially your “forever home,” it makes sense to update the kitchen so you can enjoy it for years to come. In a similar situation, a local government keeps its capital asset records for years – sometimes decades – so why not take the time to improve them? Like the kitchen, the investment in improving your capital asset management system is worth it because you can reap the long-term benefits.
Employees are on the road again, traveling to various in-person trainings and conferences. Given this, one cannot help but wonder about the internal control systems for processing employee reimbursements and travel claims. Are they ready to handle this activity and prevent waste, loss or abuse?
A new year has begun, which means it's time for cash-basis governments to close out the last year and begin preparing their annual financial reports. It also means it’s time for us to share our updated Checklist for Preparing and Reviewing Cash-Basis Financial Statements.
As we performed federal single audits this year, a common issue arose – a lack of compliance with federal wage rate requirements. Much of the issue stems from local governments that managed federally funded construction projects for the first time but did not provide enough training to their staff on federal wage rate requirements.
One of the best tools in your fraud-fighting toolbox is a bank statement review. Whether you are a finance professional, a department head, or even an elected or appointed official, reviewing the bank statements can greatly increase your odds of deterring and detecting fraud.
Fuel prices can be volatile. When they rise, governments will feel it in higher fleet-operation budgets, and employees will feel it in their wallets. And here at SAO, we will likely see more local government reports of known or suspected fuel-related losses and frauds.
Accounts payable is a process that delivers significant payments to vendors for goods and services and keeps local government operational. While the tasks that make up your accounts payable process may seem repetitious and mundane, they serve a critical business function—and they are vulnerable to fraud and error. When was the last time you took a hard look at your accounts payable process to ensure it's still designed appropriately and functioning properly?
When was the last time you reviewed and updated your deposit process? Deposits become so routine that it is easy to forget that your internal controls might need adjusting as your financial activity changes over time. On top of that, there are new options and technology for deposits that can help you strengthen your security measures.
Here are some tips and resources to get you started:
Looking for a way to improve your game when it comes to cash receipting internal controls? Add the double count to your arsenal. The double count is as easy as the name suggestions: money should never transfer from one employee to another without being counted and documented first.
Though it's simple, the double count is a necessary addition to your internal control processes for minimizing the risk of loss . Let's walk through a few scenarios to illustrate the concept and its importance.
Scenario 1: Fundraising in a school
Originally Published: August 24, 2021
As you enter into new federally funded contracts this year, you need to know if your contractor has been banned from doing business with the federal government. Commonly referred to as suspension and debarment, these requirements are fairly easy to comply with, yet they are one of SAO's most common audit findings. We first ran this article in August 2021, and due to its importance, we're republishing it as a reminder.